Like millions of other lonely souls, I recently joined Tinder to try and spark up my non-existent love-life. Romantically, I'm sure it would probably be better if I was to meet someone organically, but hey ho, to Tinder I go.
After much swiping I have ended up with a few possibilities. One of them is a stand out - at least she looks extremely pretty in her pictures - Asian vibe, slim, friendly- looking girl. After a few exchanged messages we have a date lined up Thursday night. Cool. I'm kind of excited - I've not been on a proper date for god knows how long.
The day before, I look back at her pictures just to be sure I really do fancy this girl. I want and need that chemistry to be there, I am a bloke after all. And yes, she looks pretty sexy: I reckon I'm good to go. Slightly oddly though, I'm struck by the thought that her head does seem a bit....big. But heck, I'm far from perfect, and perhaps the pictures are angled imperfectly, it's nothing significant.
I head for my date. We've arranged to meet in a fairly standard pub in North London for a couple of drinks before I shoot off to a friend's birthday party. If the date goes well, the birthday boy will have to wait, if it doesn't I have the perfect get-out clause.
I arrive early and sink a couple of pints to get myself nice and relaxed. And then, bang on time, in she walks. She's wearing a nice little summer top and cut off denim shorts. Nice pair of legs. Head is a little big. Yes, definitely quite a large head. Shit.
First thing I'm thinking is 'Do I want to fuck this girl?' Answer: not really.
Second thing I'm thinking is...'Does this chick have a dick?' Answer: not sure.
Christ, I don't half get myself into situations. No: I tell myself I'm being silly, this is a bona fide girl and I'm just nervous and paranoid. I should settle down and enjoy myself.
Hmm, I see that she's a bit off with eye contact, but it's early doors, I'm sure that will improve.
I ask her what she wants to drink and it's some fancy cocktail. That bums me out a bit - I'm pretty skint and thought the standard pub vibe would send the right signal - wine or beer to start, maybe spirits later. Her drink has cucumber in it. I've only ever seen cucumber in salads before. Or in porn films.
I collect a tiny amount of change from my twenty quid note and lift up my pint to clink a quick cheers with my potential new girlfriend. Eye contact is again avoided and I'm already - already! - thinking that I want to move on to the birthday party. I tell myself not to be so impulsive, to give this girl a chance.
I need a cigarette to take the edge off so we head outside and make a bit of small talk. I tell her it's my first date on Tinder and she tells me I'm the latest in a long line but that she hasn't found anyone she's clicked with. She seems nice enough, but something is not quite right. I'm now on my second cigarette and I'm starting to neck my drink. I'm craving a couple of shots to make the time go quicker.
I leave her puffing on an e-cigarette and head to the bar again to grab her one more cucumber extravaganza and myself a pint of lager. I'm sorely tempted to do that sneaky shot but just about manage to stop myself.
Outside we chat and have a bit of a giggle but it's all a bit forced. The breeze catches her top for an instant and I catch a glimpse of her chest. There is no chest. This girl really has nothing up top: Her cleavage is slightly smaller than my own. Superficial I know, but I like a good handful.
Christ, my radar is moving into the red zone. Not for the first time this evening, I'm wondering if the date I have secured is with a transsexual.
I can't shake my suspicions but I can't possibly broach the subject with her. Can I?
Our second round of drinks are now finished and I'm grateful and relieved that she offers to go to the bar. I'm down to about a fiver in cash and don't really want to move into card-behind-the-bar territory. I watch her as she moves towards the door, hoping for some female hip sway, but there's not too much action there.
I'm really starting to curse my luck, for I'm now fairly convinced I'm with a Queen. But it's OK, I like an adventure. Plus, I've had a few beers,, and I'm happy enough to be tanking myself up for the birthday party. Yes, I will definitely be making an appearance there.
On her return I'm simultaneously having a conversation with her and another one in my head asking myself if it would be a step too far to enquire as to her gender orientation. I decide to steer clear from any sensitive confrontations - if I'm wrong she might be very offended. I bite my tongue, though I remain intrigued, if a little hacked off that I won't be getting laid tonight.
By now we have moved back to the bar and we're chatting about places where we hang out - I mention some quality nights at Heaven and G-A-Y. Her eyes remains resolutely focussed elsewhere.
I've had enough to drink now to imagine what it would be like to kiss this girl, but the cleavage issue keeps coming back to haunt me. Perhaps a couple of shots could solve that. It's my round again, so I throw financial prudence to the wind, whip out my debit card and order a couple of white San Bucas. They hit the spot and I seriously consider having a quick snog before leaving. Trouble is, I now think I have detected a somewhat gravelly tone in my date's voice.
Damn, I think it's time to go.
Naturally, I never delved, so I will never know if I was with a boy or a girl that night, but you know what, I had a hell of a good time at the birthday party afterwards.
Tinder, this time you did not love me, you toyed with me. But that's cool. I'll be back.